Kik Messenger App Poster Image

Kik Messenger



Teens using social networking app will need safety guidance.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kik Messenger wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of play

Kik works on almost any smartphone, but both sender and recipient must have installed this app and have each other as contacts in their phones to use it. An "S" on a message indicates it's been sent, "D" means delivered, and "R" appears next to a message when it's been opened. There's no limit to the number of characters per message, and photos can be taken directly from within the app. Some capabilities, however, such as the video, sketchpad, and other features that are promoted as regular tools within Kik are actually other apps that can be used via Kik, and they have different rules and fees for premium services.


No violent content in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.


No sexual content in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.


No iffy language in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.


Kik Messenger is free, but many of the Kik-enabled apps that are promoted as Kik features -- like the sketch pad, video maker, and a file-sending app -- contain ads or promote a paid premium version. Kik's ability to link these other Kik-enabled apps within itself is a way to drive "app adoption" (purchases) from its users for developers. Upon registering, teens are encouraged to allow messages to be sent to everyone in their phone's address book about signing up for the service, since users can only message those who also have this app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No content related to drinking, drugs, or smoking in the app itself, but teens can send and receive unmonitored texts, photos, voice messages, and videos.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kik Messenger is an app-based alternative to standard texting as well as a social networking app for smartphones. It has some cool features but also some possible downsides for safety and privacy. Kik users can download other apps with more features, such as video and a sketchpad, to be used on Kik, and users can see if their messages have been read by the recipients, which is a nice touch. That said, Kik should only be used by teens who can discern the difference between texting people individually, with groups, and within a social networking environment. This multi-feature (read: potentially more ways to get into trouble) tool is for older teens and adults who will use it to communicate with family and friends, to make use of the features on some of the other cool Kik-enabled apps (like the video camera, document share, sketchpad, and greeting cards), and who will not give out personal information to Kik users they don't know or indiscriminately pay for premium features on other Kik-enabled apps. Kik definitely adds a kick to "old-fashioned texting," but teens need some guidance on safety and privacy if they're going to use it. 

What's it about?

Register for a Kik Messenger account using your first and last name. Choose a username and upload a profile picture. You'll be prompted to choose whether you want Kik to search through your contacts to find other Kik users, which this app almost necessitates because you can only communicate with other people who have Kik. Then start sending messages or photos (sketches and videos will require another app download) to other Kik-using friends individually or in a group chat.

Is it any good?


Kik definitely raises some eyebrows and some smiles, depending on what features you're talking about on this innovative app. In the plus column, the fast message delivery system doesn't have message limits, character limits, or fees if you just use the basic features, and it's decidedly more fun in many ways than SMS texting. On the downside, there's no age verification, seemingly no teen safeguards on the connected app OinkText, and some bad behavior from some Kik users trying to connect with people they don't know via the App Store and Google Play's comment sections.

Will teens leave SMS texting behind and move to more nebulous texting/social networking/multi-app combos like Kik? Time will tell. If they do, we hope the developers, parents, and teens will all keep privacy and safety in mind.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Skills:Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: social media
Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community, making wise decisions, respect for others
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:October 12, 2012
Category:Social Networking
Size:7.70 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 1.5 and up

This review of Kik Messenger was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byvigilant_dad March 24, 2013

Dangerous app

Don't be fooled by the innocent sounding name -- this app is a prime vehicle for sexual predators to locate targets. Within hours of installing this app on his phone, my child was receiving random explicit invitations for photo sharing. Predators pose as teens and try to seduce kids into sharing nude "selfies". Volumes of nudes and pornographic screen shots are being shuttled around on this app every minute. There are plenty of other ways for a kid to text another kid -- keep them away from Kik!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byTuxedo2 December 30, 2012

Don't Kik

Kik and instagram seem to go hand and hand with tweens. On a high percentage of instagram posts you see phrases such as, "Kik me at..." Therefore, if your instagram page is open or you've accepted hundreds of followers, they will now also know your user name on Kik. It is a dangerous way to invite strangers into your life and there is no way for parents to monitor Kik messages or group chats. There are no records to review and chats are easily deleted. Additionally many children have this app and their parents do not know about it. It can be loaded on any android or iphone or ipod touch or iPad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written byshauna3 July 12, 2013

Not for Kids

It is another untraceable anonymous use predator site primarily used for sexting. It fosters fake identity and promotes risky conversation. Not for kids.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns


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